About Us

About Us

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. We help each student excel.

A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor as a successful model of employer-driven youth development training.

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Mission & Vision

SkillsUSA is America’s proud champion of the skilled trades. Our mission is to empower students to become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders and responsible community members.

SkillsUSA’s vision to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success.


SkillsUSA strives to ensure inclusive participation in all of our programs, partnerships and employment opportunities. In SkillsUSA, diversity encompasses differnces in race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, gender transition status, national origin, age, physical and mental ability, thinking styles, experience and education.

We strive to make all members, partners and employees feel welcomed and valued in the SkillsUSA family. SkillsUSA believes in treating all people with respect and dignity. We want SkillsUSA to be regarded as a membership organization of choice that encourages all individuals to be involved.


The Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, Inc. (VICA) was founded in 1965 by students and teachers who were serious about their professions and saw the need for more training in the areas of leadership to complement their chosen vocation. In Nashville, Tennessee, 14 states were represented, as VICA chose it’s name, colors, motto, purposes and goals.

In 1969 the first theme was “Speak Up for America,” and the first handbook was published in 1970 with the theme being “Skills Build America.” Land was purchased for the National Leadership Headquarters in 1974 and ground breaking took place in 1978. Health Sciences Education became part of VICA in 1986. The Professional Development Program became a reality in 1988. The official name for the national competition became SkillsUSA Championships in 1995. SkillsUSA-VICA became the official name of the organization at the national National Leadership and Skills Conference on July 4, 1999.

In 2001, Timothy W. Lawrence, a former student member, became national executive director. Formerly national director of business and industry partnerships, Lawrence had also been a classroom instructor, industry employee, state association director and member of the Board of Directors. The same year an ex-officio position was created for National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium. On Sept. 1, 2004 the organization’s name officially changed to SkillsUSA.

SkillsUSA Around The State

Check out the students in action from various SkillsUSA centers around the State of Missouri.